The week began with a golf tournament at the Maumelle Country Club on Monday. The tournament benefits the Arkansas Baptist School System, and Miss Arkansas has been invited for several years. I wore shorts and regretted it because it was cold! However, I enjoyed stepping inside the clubhouse and mingling with the players during lunch.
Students from Arkansas Baptist Schools showed up to play golf!
Tuesday, I appeared on KATV Good Morning Arkansas! I always enjoy television interviews, and Melinda did a great job with the interview. They showed several pictures from my year as Miss Arkansas, and then we talked about the upcoming golf tournament. You can watch it here. Afterwards, I indulged in home-grown Arkansas strawberries from the Farmer’s Market!
On Thursday, I visited Southside Elementary School in Cabot. After giving my presentation to 500 students, I asked for questions. One young boy was eager to talk on the microphone and asked an excellent question, “How do students become bullies?” I was impressed with his question and wanted everyone to hear my answer. I shared, “Most bullies make fun of others because they do not feel good about themselves. I want you all to understand how special you are. You were made exactly the way you are for a purpose. Never doubt who you are or what you have to offer!”
Later that afternoon, I spoke in another school in Cabot, Magness Elementary School. I walked in to see a class sitting in the gym, ready for the assembly. As I started to talk to the kindergartners, one little girl said, “You are a princess!” I told the kids that if I were a princess then I would need a prince. A boy eagerly raised his hand and blushed when I asked him to be my prince. Later in my program, a student asked if I am married… a question that I often hear. I responded, “I am not married, I do not have kids, but I do have a really cute boyfriend!” The kids always giggle! On the way out the door, my prince came up to me and asked about whom I was talking when I said that I have a really cute boyfriend. I winked at him and assured him that he was the only one. ;)
My prince :)
Friday, I lay in bed with a kidney infection until my appearance that night. When hundreds of people expect Miss Arkansas to be at an appearance, I can’t simply call in for a sick day. However, I was feeling much better Friday night and enjoyed the Fashion Statement Women’s Conference in Lonoke. I shared about my platform and encouraged all women to get involved with my generation through mentoring!
Saturday started early with the March of Dimes March for Babies Walk and Rally in Little Rock. I actually had an older sister who was born with birth defects and lived only three days. My family has always appreciated the March of Dimes Organization and the awareness they bring about premature babies and birth defects. As I met many supporters and customers of the March of Dimes, I was reminded of the good work of this organization!
I then drove to De Valls Bluff for the Fort Lincoln Freedom Fest, where I spoke at an assembly and awarded the essay contest winners with medals. It was a beautiful day, and I loved walking through the festival and signing autographs. A magician talked me into participating in his skit, and someone else talked me into shooting a gun. It was a great Arkansas festival!
Sunday was a day that I have been looking forward to for some time! I met with the selection committee to choose two recipients for the 2nd annual New Beginnings Scholarship. I raised funds for this scholarship last fall with a chili lunch. Stuttgart High School graduates are allowed to apply for the scholarship if they are first-generation college students. I have served on several scholarship selection committees and consider it a huge blessing to offer scholarships to deserving candidates. I especially admire those who will attend college as the first person in their family. I am very excited to present both scholarships on Friday at Stuttgart High School!
I would like to invite you to the Miss Arkansas Luncheon and Lottery on Sunday, May 20th, 2012, at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock! Although we will not have a fashion show as in previous years, we will be celebrating the 2012 state contestants and my year as Miss Arkansas! Brunch will be served beginning at 10:30 a.m. with the 2012 Contestant's Lottery beginning at 11:00 a.m. .The cost is $25.00 per person. Reservations are required for guaranteed seating. Payment is required at the time of the reservations. Reservations may be made through May 15 th to firstname.lastname@example.org. No tickets will be sold at the door. Hope you can attend!
Picture from last year's May Contestant Meeting!
The following Monday, we will be hosting the annual Miss Arkansas Golf Tournament at the Pleasant Valley Country Club. We are still looking for a few more teams and would love to have more sponsors for the holes. This four-person scramble has a $1,000 entry fee and serves as the primary fundraiser for the Miss Arkansas Organization. Visit http://www.missarkansas.org/news.htm for more information. The Miss America Organization is the largest provider of scholarships to women in America, and I am personally very thankful for the amount I have been given. Over several years of competing, I received around $34,000 to pay for more than three-fourths of my pharmacy school tuition!!!
Picture from last year's golf tournament. Four Miss Arkansas contestants and a golfer standing before the Hole in One yellow Camaro!
I want to end this blog with advice I saw several state titleholders retweet this week, “Stop distracting yourself by stalking your competition on the internet. Focus on your pageant prep. No one ever worried her way to the title!” I limited my time on the internet while competing for Miss Arkansas because I knew comparing myself to others would never benefit me. Bring your best self to the pageant this year, and never look back!